This Pumpkin Empanada recipe is courtesy of Cynthia Detterick-Pineda of Andrews, TX. Check out more of Cynthia's
Pumpkin pie may not be on the menu for a traditional Mexican-style meal,
but pumpkin empanadas most definitely are, at least on the ones I have known. Pumpkin empanadas are made both on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Often
they are served during Noche Buena, when those re-enacting the travels of Mary and Joseph have stopped at the chosen home to feast.
Pumpkin Empanadas Recipe
Yields: 14 to 16 empanadas
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 15 min
Pastry Dough (see recipe below)
Pumpkin Filling (see recipe below)
Egg Wash (made by whisking 1 egg with 1 teaspoon water)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Prepare Pastry Dough; refrigerate. Prepare Pumpkin Filling; set aside and let cool. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar; set aside.
Prepare oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
Take the chilled Pastry Dough from the refrigerator and divide it into half. Divide one
of the halves into eight (8) pieces. Return the other half of the Pastry Dough to the refrigerator to keep chilled until you are ready for it.
On a floured board, roll each of the eight pieces into a circle about 4 inches across and 1/8-inch thick. Fill each of these circles with a generous tablespoons
of the cooled Pumpkin Filling. Fold the circle into a half-moon shape enclosing filling. Using a fork, press down the edges into a crimped
border. Not only will this look nice, it will help keep the empanada closed after baking. With a pastry brush,
paint the top with the Egg Wash.
Once you have assembled the first eight (8) empanadas and placed them on the prepared
baking sheet, remove the other half of the dough from the refrigerator and follow the same above instructions.
Bake approximately 15 minutes or until tops are golden and the edges are lightly browned.
Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar immediately after removing from the oven.
These may be baked 1 day ahead. Before serving, warm in a 350 degrees for 8 minutes.
Makes 14 to 16 empanadas.
7 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
2 cups all-purpose
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ice cold water
Place butter and vegetable shortening or lard in freezer for 15 minutes. When ready to use, remove from freezer and
cut both into small pieces.
In the bowl of a food processor fit with the cutting blade, combine flour and salt by pulsing 3 to 4 times.
Add butter and pulse 5 to 6 times until texture looks mealy and it is blended uniformly.
Add cold vegetable shortening or lard and pulse
another 3 to 4 times. Remove lid of food processor and pour in the ice water and egg. Replace lid and pulse 5 times. Stop to scrape down the
sides and process for another 5 pulses. The dough should hold together when clinched in your fist.
Place mixture in a large zip-top bag,
squeeze together until it forms a ball, press into a rounded disk, and
then refrigerate for 30 minutes. This allows time for all the wet
ingredients to be absorbed into the flour.
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup firmly-packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
orange zest (rind) of half an orange
* If you choose to use canned pumpkin, make sure
it is pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.
get the fresh cooked pumpkin to same consistency of a store bought
canned pumpkin puree, use a food processor to make a smooth puree.
Then pour it in a sieve (or cheesecloth or coffee filter) placed in
a deep bowl. Stir with a spoon until all the liquid is sieved
completely and you get some rich thick Pumpkin Puree.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter; stir in the brown sugar. Let this
heat for a few minutes until the brown sugar is dissolved into the
butter. Stir in the pumpkin and the spices. Continue to stir over
medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes, or long enough that the pumpkin
begins to stiffen and hold its shape. Test this by picking up a small
amount in a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the orange peel.
Allow the Pumpkin
Filling to cool completely in the refrigerator before continuing to
assembling your empanadas. A hot or warm filling will make working with
your dough very difficult.